How You Can Extend A Yorkie’s Life Expectancy

extend a Yorkie's life expectancy

Extend A Yorkie's Life Expectancy

Hi, everyone. Thanks for visiting the blog today. Lets take a look at how you can extend a Yorkie's life expectancy.

A Yorkshire Terrier's normal life expectancy is between 12 and 15 years (average of 13.5 years). Females usually live 1.5 years longer than males. When death by trauma and other means is factored in, the average lifespan of Yorkies in the United States drops to 11.1 years.

When The End Comes

For every Yorkie owner there will come a time when we have to face the inevitable and say goodbye. It's a very hard thing to do.

Roughly a quarter of dogs pass peacefully in their sleep. For the remaining 75% of dogs, owners will need to make that extremely difficult decision and allow their dog to be euthanized to end suffering.

It's at times like this that one must look at the dog's quality of life. Perhaps your Yorkie is struggling to breath or is in near constant pain. All measures of treatment have failed to work. It is usually in the best interest of the dog to allow him or her to escape to a better place.

When a Yorkie gets to about 10 years old he is a senior. (50 to 56 human years) Your doggy's built differently, with a much shorter life span than humans.

The changes from adult to senior are gradual and can be easily missed while we go about our busy lives. Keep an eye out for these signs. Early treatment will be easier and less expensive and could save the life of your little associate.

Slowing Down

Your little dog may hesitate before he responds to commands. He may refuse the first time you ask. Your dog may respond to your second request, but only after carefully positioning his body and moving very slowly. These are signs that his body is taking strain.

Doing things like sitting, laying down, jumping, etc., are becoming difficult. Instead of bounding up the stairs your senior dog might take each stair one at a time.

You might have to urge your dog to race up the hill when he used to beat you to the top? Slowing down could be a sign of early arthritis or thyroid issues.

Not Responding To You

Perhaps your dog has stopped coming when you call? If you think your senior dog is just becoming “old and stubborn”, think again – he could be losing hearing. Time to brush up on those hand signals!

Cloudy Eyes

While most dogs develop some cloudiness as they age (nuclear sclerosis), it can also be a sign of cataracts, which are a far more serious issue.

Extra Bathroom Breaks

If your Yorkie starts having accidents in the house, you may need to up your number of potty breaks throughout the day or leave pee pads out when you go to work.


A dog owner’s worst fear – lumps. You should be feeling your dog for lumps often.

Deteriorating Coat Condition

Dry coat, itchy, flaky, hot spots, hair loss, etc. – these are all indications that something is going on with your aging dog.

Bad Breath

Most Yorkies do not have mint-fresh breath. If it starts to smell worse than usual, don’t ignore it. The longer the teeth decay, the worse it will be for your dog.

 extend a Yorkie's life expectancy

Extend A Yorkie's Life Expectancy

The Geriatric Checkup

If you want to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy, have the dog screened for any potential health issues.

Your vet will check your Yorkie from head to toe. He will pay close attention to areas known to be affected by age - eyes, joints, teeth, heart and abdominal cavity.

The Eyes

Aging issues of the eyes include nuclear sclerosis or “cloudy lens”. For your Yorkshire Terrier it will be like seeing through a grayish window, but this is not a sign that the dog will become blind.

Cataracts are a more serious problem altogether. Mature cataracts will limit your dogs vision, lead to inflammation inside the eye and may cause blindness.

The Heart

Your veterinarian will listen closely for heart sound changes called “murmurs”. Progressive heart disease affects many breeds.

Kidneys And Liver

Your vet will conduct blood and urine tests looking for internal problems that affect your dogs kidneys and liver. Even if your senior Yorkie appears fine at home, there could be underlying disease in these organs that will worsen with time.

If the lab tests show early stages of kidney disease, your vet will advise how you can help keep up a good quality of life for your dog. Unfortunately, chronic renal failure gets worse, even when caught early. The vet can at least strive to keep your little friend as happy as possible.

Joints Muscles And Bones

If your senior Yorkie is having problems getting up or moving around, that will be important information for your vet. He will palpate all the joints, muscles, and bones and do a full range of motion tests flexing and extending the joints. There will need to be X-rays if any potential problems are found. Your vet will be able to recommend a treatment if there is arthritis.

A senior dog will need to be seen twice per year as opposed to just once. At the age of 8 and up, medical issues can develop very quickly. Running tests once a year is insufficient.

extend a Yorkie's life expectancy

Extend A Yorkie's Life Expectancy

 Ways To Increase Your Yorkie's Life Expectancy

There are many things that you can do to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy. Good  care  from the day you bring home your puppy, through adulthood and into the senior years will be sure to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy.

1.0 Vaccinations

With infection being a top cause of death for Yorkie puppies and a concern for older dogs as well, keeping up with vaccinations is important.

Puppies should not be taken outside beyond the boundaries of the home's property until 2 weeks after all puppy shots have been given.

2.0 Preventing Trauma

With trauma being such a huge reason for the death of so many Yorkshire Terriers I want to urge you to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy by creating a secure environment for your little pal.

Family members and visitors should be warned that a little dog may appear under their feet without warning. Everyone will need to be careful walking in darkened rooms. Not to mention looking before taking a step backward and always looking to see where the dog is before sitting down.

When a Yorkie sleeps, it should be in a safe, secure area so that if people wake up at night, in the dark, the dog cannot be under foot.

It's so sad when a dog dies due to being dropped.This often occurs when the owner is multi-tasking and the Yorkie wriggles out of his arms. When you are holding this dog all attention should be focused on this without any distractions.

Please Pay Special Attention To This Next Point

Your greatest risk when your dog is off the leash is the danger of his or her being hit by a car when running out into the street. Keep your Yorkie on the leash unless you are in a safe area. Automobile accidents are among the top causes of fatal trauma.

Yorkies are champion diggers. Do not leave your puppy or dog outside alone, even if the yard in enclosed. This breed is quite capable of digging under a fence or finding a weak spot.

Be careful when you or someone else opens the front door. A Yorkie can squeeze right past you and out into the roadway before you can say Jack Robinson.

Teach your Yorkshire Terrier all basic commands including "Sit" and "Come". If the dog is running into danger and you shout out one of these commands in an authoritative tone, it may just save his life.

3.0 Provide Proper Dental Care

Decaying teeth can put stress on the entire body. Senior Yorkies may have trouble eating if there are missing teeth. Proper cleaning of your dog's teeth is so important. It's a step that you can take to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy. 

4.0 Spay/Neuter

Spaying eliminates the possibility of your dog developing ovarian cancer and reduces the risk of mammary cancer.

With males, neutering eliminates the chances of having testicular cancer (when done before the 6 month mark) and reduces the risk of your dog developing prostate cancer.

Extend a Yorkie's life expectancy having him spayed/neutered.

5.0 Keep Your Yorkie On A Healthy Diet

What you feed your dog will have a major impact on his overall health and their quality of life.

The goal of changing from an adult maintenance food to a senior management food is to prolong both the length and quality of life as well as delay the onset of dysfunction and disease.

Since older dogs are not as good at breaking down protein into amino acids and extracting these from the GI system.Their bodies are using up protein at a faster rate,  so senior food should contain more protein than adult maintenance food.

The important thing to remember is that the protein for senior dogs should be of high-quality.

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6.0 Supplements

Not all supplements are equally effective and in some cases they can do more harm than good,. I recommend that you first consult with your vet. They are aware of your dog's medical condition and can advise the best approach and dosage.

7.0 Exercise

As your dog heads into his senior years, he can't run as fast, jump as high or have the stamina he once had. It will be important for an owner to understand their senior Yorkie's limitations.

It's really important to keep your Yorkshire Terrier mobile for as long as possible. That old adage of 'use it or lose it' applies to canines as well as humans.

If your Yorkshire Terrier gets a walk twice a day for 30 minutes each session, consider changing to a short 10 minute walk before you go to work and a 15 minute stroll in the evening. During weekends you may decide to walk your dog for 20 minutes in the afternoon and skip the others.

Your senior dog will need more water breaks Stop at the halfway point for a 5 minute break to hydrate. Take care to limit outdoor activity during the hottest part of the day. On cold days, a jacket can be just the thing to keep a senior Yorkie from feeling the chill.

8.0 Grooming Changes

The skin is more sensitive on a senior and his coat may start to thin out. Try using a leave-in spritz to offer the coat more protection from wind and hot sun. Apply a little sunscreen to exposed areas if your dog will be outside for more than 20 minutes on a sunny day.

9.0 Sleep

It is normal for a senior Yorkie to sleep more than when he was younger. It's important that a senior be given an age-appropriate bed. Your dog's needs may have changed.

Even if your dog is very attached to his bed, he will be more comfortable with an orthopedic mattress that offers the right amount of support for his aging body.

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10.0 Temperament

Senior dogs are rather set in their ways and often do not do well with changes. A senior Yorkie may become frustrated when faced with a new puppy.

If you are considering adding a new puppy to the household, this should be given a lot of thought. The needs of your senior dog may have to come first.

Also, older Yorkies often don't like changes in the set-up of their home. Seniors often start having issues with decreased vision and/or hearing, so keeping things just as a dog is used to is often your best bet.

Older dogs develop a lower tolerance for noise and commotion. If there are kids about, your Yorkie will appreciate a quiet spot in the household where he cannot disturbed.

11.0 Keeping An Eye Out For Changes

Health issues can develop very quickly with a senior dog. Extend a Yorkie's life expectancy by keeping a close eye for any changes in your dog's behavior or condition.

One Last Thing

It's inevitable that your dog is going to age. You can make a difference in helping your older dog overcome health problems. Bare in mind that over the past eighty years the average lifespan of dogs has risen from 7 to 12 years.

Improving your knowledge and paying close attention to your Yorkie's health will help make sure that he lives a long and happy life.

Have any comments, concerns, ideas or suggestions about how to extend a Yorkie's life expectancy? Please take a moment and share your thoughts, ideas, comments, or suggestions for everyone to read.

God Bless

Richie S.

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